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medrxiv; 2020.
Preprint in English | medRxiv | ID: ppzbmed-10.1101.2020.08.20.20178541


BackgroundThe paucity of data describing SARS-CoV-2 in the paediatric population necessitated a broad-arching approach to pandemic planning, with preparations put in place to manage a heterogeneous cohort. We describe a diverse group of SARS-CoV-2 positive paediatric patients treated at a large tertiary/quaternary childrens hospital in the United Kingdom and the adaptive coping strategies required. MethodsAll paediatric patients with positive RT-PCR on a respiratory sample and/or serology for SARS-CoV-2 up to 19th May 2020 were included. Results57 children met the inclusion criteria. 70% were of non-Caucasian ethnicity with a median age of 9.3 years (IQR 5.16-13.48). Four distinct groups were identified: paediatric inflammatory multisystem syndrome temporally associated with SARS-CoV-2 (PIMS-TS) (54%), primary respiratory (18%), incidental (7%), and non-specific febrile illnesses with or without extra-pulmonary organ dysfunction (21%). These groups presented in distinct chronological blocks as the pandemic unfolded. DiscussionThe diverse range of presentations of SARS-CoV-2 infection in this population exemplified the importance of preparedness for the unknown in the midst of a novel infectious pandemic. Descriptions of paediatric patients during the initial phase of the pandemic from other parts of the globe and extrapolation from adult data did not serve as an accurate representation of paediatric COVID-19 in our centre. An adaptive, multidisciplinary approach was paramount. Expanded laboratory testing and incorporation of technology platforms to facilitate remote collaboration in response to strict infection control precautions were both indispensable. Lessons learned during the preparation process will be essential in planning for a potential second wave of SARS-CoV-2.